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Jake Frackson

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Shame is a hinderance to education.

In Brené Brown's "Listening to Shame," she describes the difference between guilt and shame: guilt is "I made a mistake" and shame is "I am a mistake." By accepting these definitions, can it not be assumed that shame is not needed in schools? If shame is a personal opinion of oneself, is it not then only a hinderance to gaining an education?

In an article that I wrote recently(jakefrackson.wordpress.com - You Should be Ashamed of Yourself), I discuss shame and its role in education systems. I explore the use of shame and why, I believe, it is not necessary.

Working with the definition of shame above, is shame a hinderance to education?


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    Nov 5 2012: I have not yet read the other comments, but after reading your question, I think the difference between guilt and shame is whether you feel like you need to change something relatively fundamental to your identity (shame). A useful function of shame could be causing the person to make a fundamental change to their personality, if such a change is in fact needed.

    The danger is that shame is a social and subjective phenomenon, and this brings in to play individual vs. social morals. If you feel shamed by others, it's quite possible that YOU are right and the OTHERS are wrong. Or not.

    It seems we all have personal blind spots - areas of our own personality that we are blind to. And we rely on our friends to help us see ourselves, when we can not see ourselves. When we've done something and feel shame, we must judge whether the shame is legitimate. It may well be, or it may not. But I think it's worth looking into. If it is, it's worth considering whether a personal change is needed.

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